It really says something about a fashion-obsessed person when they enjoy fashion so much that they feel compelled to establish their own line. But burning devotion is not enough to succeed in an industry already saturated with so much tenacious, driven talent. How do you separate yourself from the pack to take the lead? Host nation Singapore is gearing up to receive designers, creative directors, journalists, and other fashion industry professionals in Asia Fashion Exchange, Southeast Asia’s premier meeting of fashion-minded folk. The event will take place between May 13-19 at the Marina Promenade, also home to the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix. If you like fashion shows, retail theory, and new trends, you cannot miss out on the excitement taking place at the Asia Fashion Exchange. International and regional leaders in the industry will rub shoulders with up and coming names at four mainstay events. Just what are these events, and who are the big names you can expect to see?
Audi Fashion Festival (May 15-19)
The Audi Fashion Festival remains one of this region’s most anticipated shows. It has consistently paired Singapore’s internationally-acclaimed, home-grown labels with their American and European counterparts. This year will see Singapore’s very own Raoul and Ashley Isham share billings with international heavyweights; having previously attracted labels such a DSQUARED2, Missoni, and Vivienne Westwood, who else will they add to their already illustrious resumé?
Carolina Herrera. The Venezuelan-American living legend will open the festivities with a showcase of her Carolina Herrera New York and CH Carolina Herrera lines. Herrera is the master of pantsuit and maxi-length dress, routinely coming out with pieces that make women look like Visigoth warriors on top and Greek goddesses below the waist. The catwalk will be graced by her beautiful Fall 2013 collection, which is probably one of the few collections in history that has successfully made taupe and brown exciting.Hussein Chalayan. Closing the fashion festival will be the two-time winner of Britain’s Designer of the Year award (1999, 2000) and whose fan-base include Rihanna and actress Bryce Dallas Howard. In addition to the awards he has received in his quest to push the boundary between fashion and art (he once put together a collection made out of Tyvek!), he also has the recognition of being the first fashion designer to take the reins at a sportswear line when he inherited the role of Creative Director at Puma. And what’s a fashion after-party without a big musical number? AFE has brought in provocative spitfire Azealia Banks, a young American MC whose personality has received as much attention as her music. Click here to sample her rapid-fire delivery!
Audi Star Creation (May 13, 17, Tent @ Marina Promenade)
Audi Star Creation is a competition for young aspiring designers, drawing over 350 entries from sixteen countries. Out of those entries, twelve finalists have been selected and their collections placed on display and judging from a select panel for the opportunity to win a cash prize, a year-long internship, and an opportunity to debut their own collections at the following AFX. Last year’s People’s Choice Award winner was Surabaya native Natalia Kiantoro, whose line has reached the shores of Shanghai following endorsement from actress Lou Yi Xiao. This competition is fertile ground for aspiring designers to showcase their talents for the opportunity to lunch their own line, and competition is fierce.
Blueprint (May 16-19 @ Blueprint Emporium)
Blueprint describes itself as the “fashion trade gateway for East West Exchange in Asia.” This is the trade show portion of the summit that attracts more than 200 designers and thousands of retail buyers to scout for women’s and men’s fashions, as well as accessories, while engaging in some seriously intense networking. Indonesia has always been heavily represented at this event, and this year’s delegates do not disappoint either: local womenswear labels Rinda Salmun and Toton are aiming to launch Indonesian designers into the regional spotlight.
Asia Fashion Summit (May 15-17, Raffles City Convention Centre)
Sandwiched between all the electric eye candy during the week is the equally electric Asia Fashion Summit, with conference full of talks, lectures, and forums on fashion and business retail from the experts. The event will take place between May 15-17 at the Raffles City Convention Centre, featuring industry leaders who will engage in lectures and discussions of their experience in a rapidly evolving Asian fashion scene. One such luminary is Wayne Milano, Senior VP of Abercrombie & Fitch, Asia, and summit regular Mercedes Gonzales, Director of Global Purchasing Companies.
Nicola Formichetti, Creative Director of Thierry Mugler at last year’s Blueprint.
And those are just the main events! There will be plenty of supporting events and side shows that will benefit everyone from the wannabe fashion entrepreneur to the seasoned industry professional. This is more than a week of parties and shows; this is also a forum of idea exchange. Remember to drop by the Marina Promenade if you will be in Singapore between any of these dates, and don’t forget to share everything you saw, heard, learned (and ate!) with us here!